TIME Education

The Reason College Costs More Than You Think

The Lyceum, oldest building on the campus of the University of Mississippi on April 12, 2008 in Oxford, Mississippi.
Wesley Hitt—Getty Images The Lyceum, the oldest building on the campus of the University of Mississippi

Freshmen say they’ll finish in four years, but most will be paying tuition for five or six years

When Alex Nichols started as a freshman at the University of Mississippi, he felt sure he’d earn his bachelor’s degree in four years. Five years later, and Nichols is back on the Oxford, Miss. campus for what he hopes is truly his final semester.

“There are a lot more students staying another semester or another year than I thought there would be when I got here,” Nichols says. “I meet people once a week who say, ‘Yes, I’m a second-year senior,’ or, ‘I’ve been here for five years.’”

They’re likely as surprised as Nichols still to be toiling away in school.

Nearly nine out of 10 freshmen think they’ll earn their bachelor’s degrees within the traditional four years, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. But the U.S. Department of Education reports that fewer than half that many actually will. And about 45 percent won’t have finished even after six years.

That means the annual cost of college, a source of so much anxiety for families and students, often overlooks the enormous additional expense of the extra time it will actually take to graduate.

“It’s a huge inconvenience,” says Nichols, whose college career has been prolonged for the common reason that he changed majors and took courses he ended up not needing. His athletic scholarship — Nichols was a middle-distance runner on the cross-country team — ran out after four years. “I had to get some financial help from my parents.”

The average added cost of just one extra year at a four-year public university is $63,718 in tuition, fees, books, and living expenses, plus lost wages each of those many students could have been earning had they finished on time, according to the advocacy group Complete College America.

A separate report by the Los Angeles-based Campaign for College Opportunity finds that the average student at a California State University campus who takes six years instead of four to earn a bachelor’s degree will spend an additional $58,000 and earn $52,900 less over their lifetimes than a student who graduates on time, for a total loss of $110,900.

“The cost of college isn’t just what students and their families pay in tuition or fees,” says Michele Siqueiros, the organization’s executive director. “It’s also about time. That’s the hidden cost of a college education.”

So hidden that most families still unknowingly plan on four years for a bachelor’s degree, says Sylvia Hurtado, director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA.

Although the institute does not poll parents in its annual survey, “that high percentage of freshmen [who are confident they’ll finish in four years] is probably reflecting their parents’ expectation — ‘This is costing me a lot, so you’re going to be out in four years.’ So the students think, ‘Sure, why not?’ I don’t think the parents even initially entertain or plan for six years or some possible outcome like that.”

Yet many students almost immediately doom themselves to taking longer, since they register for fewer courses than they need to stay on track. Surveys of incoming freshmen in California and Indiana who said they expected to graduate in four years found that half signed up for fewer courses than they’d needed to meet that goal, according to a new report by the higher-education consulting firm HCM Strategists.

It’s not entirely the students’ fault.

More than half of community-college students are slowed down by having to retake subjects such as math and reading that they should have learned in high school, says Complete College America. And at some schools, budget cuts have made it difficult to register for the courses students do need to take. Two-thirds of students at one California State University campus weren’t able to get into their required courses, according to a 2010 study by the University of California’s Civil Rights Project.

Most state financial-aid programs, meanwhile, cover only four years. “They do not fund a fifth or sixth year,” says Stan Jones, president of Complete College America and a former Indiana commissioner of higher education. “And by that time the parents’ resources and the students’ resources have run out. So that fifth year is where you borrow.”

Students at the most elite colleges and universities tend not to have this problem, which means that schools with some of the highest annual tuition can turn out to be relative bargains. These schools “would have a revolt if their students had to go a fifth year,” Jones says. “But that recognition has really not hit the public sector yet, about the hidden cost of that extra year.”

Policymakers urge speeding students through remedial classes more quickly, adding more sections of required courses so students can get in when they need them, and encouraging students to take 15 credits per semester instead of the typical 12.

Change won’t come soon enough for Nichols, who is determined that it won’t take more than one extra semester to finish his degree in integrated marketing communications.

“That’s time you’re wasting,” he says, “that you could be out making money.”

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet affiliated with Teachers College, Columbia University.

TIME National Security

Worse Than ISIS? A Primer on the Khorasan Group

Mushin al-Fadhli
US State Department Mushin al-Fadhli

Everything we know, and don't know, about the other extremist group targeted by U.S. airstrikes in Syria early Tuesday

The U.S. and a coalition of allies in the Middle East targeted a number of Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) strongholds in Syria with pre-dawn airstrikes on Tuesday — but in an unexpected detour, U.S. warplanes struck a cluster of sites west of Aleppo, an area outside of ISIS’s purview and under the command of a little known al-Qaeda cell known as the Khorasan Group.

U.S. officials had not acknowledged the Khorasan Group by name until as recently last week, when director of national intelligence James Clapper said the group “may pose as much of a danger” as ISIS, the New York Times reports. While information about the group’s members and goals remains scant, officials have made clear with recent comments, punctuated by Tuesday’s airstrikes, that the Khorasan Group now constitutes one of the chief concerns of the intelligence community. Here’s a primer on what’s known and unknown about the group so far:

What is the Khorasan group?
A cell of battle-hardened al-Qaeda fighters who have set up a franchise, of sorts, in the contested provinces of Syria. The group has tapped new recruits from the influx of foreign fighters infiltrating the region. Their goal, officials allege, is to capitalize on their range of nationalities to carry out terrorist attacks on a range of Western targets, including the U.S. While they share ISIS’s severe interpretation of Sunni Islam and disdain for differing sects within Islam, they have rejected the group’s battle tactics, fearing that brutal attacks against Muslims in Syria and Iraq would erode support for their goals of waging a wider war against western powers.

How big is it?
The exact number of fighters is unknown. Estimates range from a few dozen to upwards of 50 fighters, intelligence experts told ABC News, though their affiliations are loose and shifting within a larger network of al-Qaeda fighters known as the al-Nusra front. Under the protection of the al-Nusra front, the group has secured land and buildings in the areas surrounding Aleppo. Tuesday’s air strikes suggest that it has commandeered a range of compounds, including “training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities,” according to U.S. Central Command.

Who’s in charge?
Muhsin al-Fadhli, 33, formerly a close confidante of Osama bin Laden. According to the State Department, he was one of the few members of al-Qaeda entrusted with advanced knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He climbed the ranks fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan and raising funds for al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq. The State Department has placed a $7 million reward on information that would lead to his capture, and has connected him to attacks on a French oil tanker in 2002 and a string of bombings across Saudi Arabia.

Why haven’t we heard of it until now?
The organization keeps a low profile, in stark contrast to ISIS fighters who regularly release gruesome footage of beheadings and mass executions over social media. Rather than brandishing blades before the cameras, members of the Khorasan Group have reportedly taken a greater interest in developing attacks that would employ concealed weapons.

Could it really be more lethal than Islamic State?
To the West, perhaps. Islamic State has a far greater number of recruits under its command, upwards of 31,000 according to the latest CIA estimate, but its aspirations so far have been fixed on establishing and expanding a caliphate in the region, wresting chunks of territory from Iraq and Syria, and driving out or killing waves of ethnic and religious minorities. Khorasan, on the other hand, seems to have a more single-minded ambition of attacking the U.S. and other western nations, according to officials who said that Tuesday’s airstrikes were meant to disrupt an “imminent attack” on western targets.

 

TIME politics

The Secret Service Thinks We Are Fools

USA - Politics - President Obama Campaigns for New Jersey Governor Corzine
Brooks Kraft—Corbis A Secret Service agent watches the crowd as President Barrack Obama speaks in Holmdel, N.J. on July 16, 2009.

Ronald Kessler is the author of The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.

Its excuses after this weekend's breach are ridiculous and revealing of a troubled culture. The agency needs a new, outside director to clean house.

If you want to know what is wrong with the Secret Service, take a look at the statement the agency issued after a deranged intruder managed to enter the White House for the first time since the Secret Service closed off public access to the mansion during World War II.

According to the Secret Service, the Uniformed Division officers who did nothing to apprehend 42-year-old Omar J. Gonzalez after he hopped over the White House fence “showed tremendous restraint.” The agency is so arrogant that it thinks it can make such an obviously ridiculous statement and the public will buy it because we are fools.

But the Secret Service is not fooling the FBI. Senior FBI officials are horrified by the Secret Service’s handling of the matter and are laughing at its effort to cover up its own failure by brazenly praising the officers’ “restraint.”

The FBI’s reaction is well founded. In protecting the White House, the Secret Service Uniformed Division officers and the Uniformed Division’s Emergency Response Team, armed with P90 submachine guns, are supposed to be the first line of defense. But they were either asleep or just not paying attention when Gonzales sprinted across the lawn. They thus failed to unleash the agency’s Belgian Malinois dogs, which are cross-trained to sniff out explosives and to attack an intruder and take him or her down.

Having failed to unleash the dogs in time, the officers should have taken out the intruder with a bullet. When it comes to protecting the president, officers and agents must make split-second decisions to avoid an assassination. Courts have given the Secret Service much wider latitude than other law enforcement agencies in use of deadly force.

In Gonzalez’ case, no one knew if he was concealing a bomb or weapons of mass destruction. If it turned out he had them, it would have been too late to kill him once he was in the White House. While President Obama had just left the White House, he might have decided to return. Gonzalez’s act of racing into the White House by definition meant that he was a threat to the president. The Secret Service was derelict in its duty to protect the president by failing to eliminate that threat.

While all of this may seem obvious, apparently it is not to Obama, who has defended the Secret Service and its leaders even as it let Michaele and Tareq Salahi and a third intruder, Carlos Allen, into a White House state dinner even though they were not on the guest list. The president continued to defend the agency even as 11 agents had to be sent home from Colombia for hiring prostitutes when Obama was about to visit (a story which I broke).

Yet these scandals are the tip of the iceberg. As reported in my book The First Family Detail, while agents are brave and dedicated, Secret Service management perpetuates a culture that condones laxness and cutting corners. Under pressure from White House political staffs or presidential campaign staffs, Secret Service management tells agents to let people into events without magnetometer or metal detector screening. Assassins concealing grenades or other weapons could theoretically enter an event and easily assassinate the president or a presidential candidate. When it comes to firearms requalification and physical fitness, the Secret Service either doesn’t allow agents time to fulfill the requirements or asks agents to fill out their own test scores.

All this has led to poor morale and a high turnover rate. Tired agents and officers are forced to work long overtime hours, contributing to the sort of inattention that took place when Gonzalez scaled the White House fence. The Secret Service has refused to update its sensors around the White House with the latest technologically advanced devices for detecting intrusions and weapons of mass destruction. Its arrogance extended to leaving the doors to the White House unlocked on the presumption that its personnel could handle any threat.

No congressional hearings or internal reviews are going to fix the agency. Only an outside director with a fresh perspective—comparable to Robert S. Mueller III when he took over as FBI director—would be capable of reforming Secret Service management, shaking up the agency, and changing the culture that fosters corner cutting and punishes agents who question it.

But given Obama’s lack of judgment, that is not going to happen. An assassination nullifies American democracy. But Obama will continue to insist that he has confidence in the Secret Service despite the risk to his own life and the lives of his family members, who would be prime targets of an attack by ISIS terrorists on the vulnerable White House.

“We don’t have enough people or the equipment to do protection the way they advertise they do,” a veteran current agent (who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to fear of losing his job) says. “And how we have not had an incident up to this point is truly amazing—a miracle.”

Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, is the author of The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Syria

Watch Live: Obama Speaks on ISIS Strikes in Syria

Address comes before Obama leaves for the U.N. General Assembly in New York

President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement Tuesday morning, 10 a.m. ET, about the launch of airstrikes against Islamist militants in Syria for the first time. The strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria aimed for key targets like the group’s base of operations in Raqqa and were conducted in partnership with five Arab nations.

TIME Military

U.S. Pledges to Destroy All Landmines Outside of Korean Peninsula

FRANCE-HANDICAP-MINE-NGO-DEMO
Jeff Pachoud—AFP/Getty Images A sign reading ''Danger landmines, what is happening to those shoes'' is pictured in front of a pyramid of shoes during the annual demonstration by NGO Handicap International to denounce the use and sale of anti-personnel landmines, on Sept. 20, 2014 in Lyon, central France.

Officials cited "unique circumstances" in the Koreas that prevented acceding to a universal ban

The U.S. has pledged to destroy all existing stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines outside of the Korean peninsula, administration officials said on Monday, but stopped short of acceding to an international ban on the weaponry.

The decision to destroy existing stockpiles builds on a previous commitment in June to not manufacture, acquire or do anything to replenish existing stockpiles of landmines. While administration officials reinforced their commitment to the goals of the Ottawa Convention, a 15-year-old international agreement that forbids the use or stockpiling of landmines, the U.S. did not formally join the treaty.

“Even as we take these further steps, the unique circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea preclude us from changing our anti-personnel landmine policy there at this time, said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.

“We will continue our diligent efforts to pursue solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow us to accede to the Ottawa Convention while ensuring our ability to meet our alliance commitments to the Republic of Korea.”

More than 160 countries have joined the Ottawa Convention, but the U.S. has resisted pressure from several human rights organizations to sign the treaty, citing ongoing security concerns.

TIME Environment

U.S. Gives $15 Million to Help Cut Methane Emissions

"It is about time that world leaders come to the United Nations to recognize this threat in the way that it requires and demands"

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday pledged $15 million to help get the World Bank’s new initiative to cut methane emissions underway.

The Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Mitigation will use auctions to allocate public funds and private investment into projects around the globe that reduce methane emissions, including those that cut waste from landfills and treatment plants.

Addressing business leaders and government representatives at the opening of Climate Week NYC, Kerry said it was “about time” that world leaders recognized the “threat” of global warming.

“It gives me hope that this global summit may actually produce the leadership that is necessary to try to come together and move the needle to take advantage of the small window of time that we have left in order to be able to prevent the worst impacts of climate change for already happening,” he said.

Kerry urged leaders attending the U.N. Climate Change Summit in New York, which kicks off Tuesday, to “move and act now” on global warming, reports Responding to Climate Change.

The summit aims to engage governments and businesses into making real efforts to reduce climate change in preparation for an international agreement in 2015 to limit global warming to less than 2°C.

TIME Food & Drink

Poultry Giant Ditches Antibiotics for Probiotics

Chicken houses could offer stability for Southside farmers
Stephanie Klein-Davis—AP In this Aug. 21, 2014 photo Robert Mills holds a four-day old chicken in Pittsylvania County, Va.

Your chicken will be antibiotic-free, but rich in bacteria — and that's a good thing, Perdue Farms says

To keep its chickens disease-free, Perdue Farms is giving the livestock fewer antibiotics — but more probiotics, NPR reports.

The poultry giant believes probiotics, or “good bacteria,” will fend off the harmful kind that might otherwise take up residence in its birds, according to NPR.

Poultry companies have long raised their chicken on antibiotics to increase weight and prevent infections — a practice that public-health officials say runs the risk of spurring the development of so-called “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics and harmful to humans.

In response to a recent Reuters investigation into the widespread use of so-called “farmacueticals” in six chicken plants, including Perdue, U.S. lawmakers are eyeing new legislation to compel companies to release more information about their use of antibiotics.

Heading off such legislation, Perdue said in a statement earlier this month that it would stop using antibiotics in 95% of its chickens — that is, just to treat ill livestock. Turning to probiotics is among the firm’s alternative strategies for keeping its chickens disease-free, NPR says.

[NPR]

TIME Military

U.S. Launches Air-Strike Campaign Against ISIS in Syria

The strikes were aimed at key targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria

Updated Sept. 23 at 12:56 p.m. E.T.

The United States and allied forces launched airstrikes against Islamist militants in Syria for the first time late Monday, the Pentagon confirmed.

The strikes, which were carried out early Tuesday morning local time, were aimed at key targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), including its base of operations in Raqqa, Syria, as well as a secretive al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Khorasan Group. The Pentagon said the U.S. and its allies used a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.

President Barack Obama authorized the military to begin a broad-based aerial campaign against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria earlier this month, and is working to assemble a global coalition to combat the group, which has seized vast swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory. In a victory for Obama’s efforts to demonstrate regional support for the anti-ISIS effort, the U.S. was accompanied by five Arab nations in the strikes, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Those nations all participated in, or supported, the strikes.

Speaking from the White House South Lawn Tuesday morning, Obama thanked the American allies for their support. “The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone,” he said in a brief statement. Obama highlighted both the strikes against ISIS and Khorasan, saying “we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

“The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles,” CENTCOM said Tuesday.

The strikes began the night before Obama was set to travel to New York City for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. A White House official said Obama was updated on the operation as it proceeded.

The president did not seek congressional authorization for the air campaign against ISIS, but Obama and other administration officials briefed leaders on Capitol Hill late Monday shortly before the strikes began. Last week Congress voted to authorize the Pentagon to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels who are fighting both ISIS and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. U.S. officials said the Assad government was provided notification that the strikes were imminent, but was not consulted or involved in coordinating the effort.

The military said the American strikes included 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating from the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, “as well as U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter, remotely piloted and bomber aircraft.”

The campaign in Syria follows more than 194 airstrikes carried out over the past two months against ISIS targets in Iraq, but only recently has the U.S. moved on the “offense” against the group.

“The United States conducted these strikes as part of the President’s comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL,” CENTCOM said. “Going forward, the U.S. military will continue to conduct targeted airstrikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq as local forces go on the offensive against this terrorist group.”

The strikes against Khorasan Group were unexpected, and involved only American assets. Senior government officials have raised alarm about the network of veteran al-Qaeda extremists plotting attacks on the U.S. from Syrian safe havens, but have been wary of even confirming the group’s existence until the past several weeks.

“The United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned al-Qa’ida veterans—sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group—who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations.” CENTCOM said in the statement. “In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.”

 

TIME LGBT

Elena Kagan Presides Over Same-Sex Wedding for First Time

The Supreme Court Justice officiated her former law clerk's ceremony

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan presided over a same-sex wedding for the first time in her career in law this weekend.

Kagan officiated the ceremony of her former law clerk Mitchell Reich and his now husband Patrick Pearsall, in Chevy Chase, Md., on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

Kathy Arberg, a spokesperson for the Supreme Court, confirmed it was Kagan’s first time officiating a same-sex wedding.

Fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has officiated the weddings of LGBT couples before — one of them held at the Supreme Court — along with retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The Supreme Court could decide during its next term, which begins Oct. 6, whether all couples across the country can get married under the Constitution.

[AP]

TIME energy

How College Kids Helped Divest $50 Billion From Fossil Fuels

Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, the chair of the fund, and Steven Rockefeller.
Hiroko Masuike—The New York Times/Redux From left: Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, the chair of the fund, and Steven Rockefeller, a son of Nelson Rockefeller and a trustee of the fund, in New York, Sept. 16, 2014.

The groundwork for an announcement by heirs to the Rockefeller fortune was years in the making

Environmentalists hope Monday will come to be viewed as an “economic tipping point” in the battle against climate change.

More than 700 investors pledged to divest their holdings from fossil fuel companies, just a day after an estimated 400,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of New York to demand that world leaders take action to stop climate change at a United Nations summit this week.

The divesting organization garnering all the headlines is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a respected charity that is run by the heirs of John D. Rockefeller, who built his fortune refining oil at Standard Oil Company. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and about 50 other foundations have a combined $4.2 billion in assets total, which will no longer be invested in fossil fuel companies. Combined with individual investors and other institutions, such as colleges and faith groups, a total of $50 billion assets has been pledged to not be invested in fossil fuel companies. “It’s not huge, but its a very important signal to the market,” says Stephen Heintz, President of Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

For recent University of California, Berkeley graduate Katie Hoffman, the idea that the heirs of an oil tycoon would reroute billions of dollars away from fossil fuel companies was laughable when she began advocating that her school divest from those businesses in 2011. But it was she and other college activists who actually gave the divestment movement legs in its nascent days. “We’ve been integral in the process, and that’s been seen by folks who are actually driving and funding the movement,” Hoffman said at the event in New York where the Rockefellers announced their intentions Monday. “We have a stake in this. This is our future.”

The divestment movement began at Swarthmore College, a small Pennsylvania liberal arts school, in 2011. Students there, who could visibly see the impact that coal mining was having on the nearby Appalachian Mountains, began advocating that their school divest its billion-dollar endowment out of the largest companies that profit from drilling for and distributing fossil fuels. “In asking for divestment, we are implicitly stating that investment is a choice,” Mountain Justice, Swarthmore’s student-led divestment advocacy group, says on its website. “ It is a political choice with global consequences. Choosing to invest in an industry means financially endorsing that industry’s practices.”

Students at other schools, like Hoffman at UC Berkeley, quickly picked up the fight. Overall, 400 college campuses now have active divestment movements. The campaigns mirror previous efforts to deal with moral and political issues via economic means. In the 1980s, it was college students that first pushed their administrators to divest holdings from companies doing business in South Africa, where the racist regime of apartheid still reigned. More recently, prominent schools such as Harvard and Brown divested from companies operating in Sudan because of atrocities occurring in Darfur.

The calls for fossil fuel divestment had, until this point, been met with a more muted response. Despite birthing the movement, Swarthmore has continually maintained that divesting would hurt the school’s endowment, which it says it not meant to be used to advocate for social purposes. The UC system shot down a student-led divestment proposal last week. Other schools with large endowments, like Harvard and Brown, argue that divestment is a symbolic move that won’t affect energy companies’ bottom lines, or that more positive change can be made through shareholder activism.

Still, there has been some progress for advocates. A total of 15 colleges have divested from fossil fuels, according to Arabella Advisors, a consultancy firm for philanthropies. The most notable is Stanford University, which agreed in May to divert its $18.7 billion endowment away from coal companies. Activists hope that the big names associated with Monday’s divestment announcement, including the actor Mark Ruffalo, will encourage more schools and other organizations to divest. “This movement has gone beyond higher education,” says Jess Grady-Benson, a recent graduate of Pitzer College, which agreed to divest from fossil fuels in April.

Despite the movement’s growth, young people continue to play a central role. Divestment activism is likely to spread to many more campuses as the school year gets underway. “Youth have always gone to the conferences or the parties, but we’re always outside,” Hoffman says. “Divestment gets us in the board room, which is really exciting.”

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